Date: 5/30/1975

Nike's first creative genius was Bill Bowerman, and his biggest muse (and test mule) was Steve Prefontaine. Bowerman was the legendary track coach at the University of Oregon whose tinkering led to such Nike trademarks as the waffle sole, and Prefontaine was the preeminent runner of his generation, who wore many of Bowerman's kitchen-built skunkworks spikes. When Prefontaine died in a single-car wreck at the age of 24, much more was lost than just a single life.